The capital city of the world’s most populous country is described as an economic, social and political powerhouse. Beijing attracts a swarm of tourists year after year owing to its seven world heritage sites which include the Great Wall of China, Ming Tombs, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Zhoukoudian and the Grand Canal.
In this article, we will explore the top 12 best things to do in Beijing, China.
Activity 1) The Great Wall of China
One of the most popular attractions of Beijing, if not the most popular, the Great Wall of China is an important landmark which consists of a series of walls built along the mountainous northern borders of China. Its primary purpose was to protect the earlier Chinese empires from foreign invasions and armies. It’s built from wood, bricks, stone and other materials and stretches out to more than 21,000 kms.
Interesting Fact: The Great Wall of China is visited by almost 10 million people every year. More than 300 heads of state and other renowned people have visited Badaling- The Great Wall’s most famous section.
The following Tour to the Great Wall of China is a great trip if you have one full day available.
Activity 2) Temple of Heaven
The famous Temple of Heaven is a collection of multiple places of worship and religious buildings located in central Beijing. The history of the Temples stretches back to the times of the former Ming and Qing dynasties the Emperors of which would annually visit the Temple and perform prayers for a good harvest.
It is widely considered to be a Daoist temple, despite the fact that Christian worship at the temple predates the spread of Daoism.
Interesting Fact: The Temple of Heaven is four times the size of the Forbidden City, with an area of 2,700,000 square meters.
Activity 3) Forbidden City
Beijing’s Forbidden City is for anyone who wishes to see the home of Chinese governments for the past 5 centuries. The Forbidden City stood as the imperial palace of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was first built in 1406 and completed in 1420 with a traditional Chinese palatial architectural design.
After 1925, it now comes under the authority of the Palace Museum and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
Interesting Fact: The Forbidden City palace is the largest ancient palace in the world.
The following Tour to the Forbidden city may just be what you are looking for.
Activity 4) Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is a picturesque collection of lakes, palaces and gardens that are situated in Beijing’s Haidian district. It is considered to be the best preserved and largest royal park that offers beautiful panoramic views and landscapes.
Tourists can reach the destination via bus or subway. Upon reaching, tourists have the pleasure of getting a boat ride.
Interesting Fact: The Summer Palace consists of Kumming, Back and West lakes which form two thirds of the entire area. Once, the stillness of the waters was taken as an indication that the nation was stable.
The following Tour to the Summer Palace near Beijing and the Great Wall of China is highly recommended.
Activity 5) Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is the world’s largest canal, extending to a length of 1,115 miles or nearly 1800 kilometers. It connects to the Yangtze River and Yellow River. Some of the canal’s parts date back to 5 BC.
Interesting Fact: The canal was constructed under King Fuchai of Wu for the trading purposes but more importantly as a strategic measure to store ample ship supplies for his armies.
Activity 6) Panjiayuán Market
If you want to collect the best of Chinese souvenirs or other low price artifacts, visit the Panjiayuán Market or the Beijing Antique Market for a variety of paintings, antiques and other items. The market is filled with busy stalls, merchants selling different items and customers eyeing the best things to buy on sale. The market is located in the south of the Third East Ring Road and is open every day.
Interesting Fact: The Panjiayuán Market used to be known as the ‘dirt market’ as peasants would come and sit in the open field and sell items they had unearthed themselves.
Activity 7) The Flying Acrobatics show, Chaoyang Theatre
Visit the Chaoyan Theatre to see the best of a world famous acrobatic show. Watch the thrills of performers displaying their true athletic and acrobatic abilities that will keep you on the edge of your seats. It’s located near the East Third Ring Road and the Jinguang building. Tickets can easily be purchased via email and bookings.
Interesting Fact: The Flying Acrobatics show boasts an audience of approximately 3 million tourists over the past two decades.
Activity 8) Ming Tombs
The burial site of the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Ming Tombs refer to a collection of mausoleums. It is commonly known as Ming Tombs due to the fact that the majority of its tombs belong to the Ming dynasty, also known as the ‘Thirteen Tombs of the Ming Dynasty’.
A number of walking tours are available that brief you on the history and minute details of the Ming Tombs.
Interesting Fact: Many of the items in the tombs contain jade as the people belonging to the Ming Dynasty held the belief that jade was effective for preservation.
Activity 9) Zhoukoudian
The Zhoukoudian is regarded as home of the Peking Man of the Paleolethic Age. The ancient cave system of the Zhoukoudian unearthed one of the biggest discoveries in anthropological and biological studies. Since this discovery, it has become a popular attraction site and gives tourists the chance to view the remains of primitive civilizations.
Interesting Fact: The race of the Peking Man is estimated to have lived between 200,000 and 500,000 years ago.
Activity 10) Panda House, Beijing Zoo
If you want to catch the best of Beijing’s wildlife, look no further than the Panda House situated in the Beijing Zoo in Xicheng district. Pandas are notable for being a wild and rare species in the world and often associated as an emblem of the Chinese homeland.
Interesting Fact: In China, Pandas are a symbol of peace. In earlier times, battles between warring tribes and factions would often be put an end by raising a flag with a picture of Panda on it to signify a truce.
Activity 11) Huaisheng Mosque
The Huaisheng Mosque is the oldest mosque in China and one of the oldest mosques in the world. It is believed to have been built nearly 1400 years ago by Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqas, the uncle of the last Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, when he first visited China.
The mosque was later rebuilt in the 14th century and again in the 17th century.
Interesting Fact: The mosque is also known as the Lighthouse mosque due to its minaret once containing a beacon light for ships.
Activity 12) Beijing Museum of National History
The Beijing Museum of National History serves as a popular attraction point for families. The museum contains a plethora of exhibitions showcasing animals and paleontology. Animals are represented by colorful wax models which are a joy for children to see. Visitors need to book tickets beforehand to be granted entry.
Interesting Fact: The museum contains more than 200,000 fossils and artifacts and specimens.
Activity 12) Shichahai Lakes
The Shichahai Lakes are the adjoining waters near the Emperor’s Palace in the Forbidden City. Take a stroll near the lake to enjoy the wonderful breeze and soothing sounds of waters. The lakes are surrounded by a wide variety of restaurants that makes spending the evening ever more pleasant near the lakes.
Interesting Fact: During the Yuan Dynasty, the lakes served as a terminal point for the Great Canal. After a few centuries, the lakes became a point of leisure for people.
The magnificent city of Beijing has an array of attractions for educational as well as leisure interests. Its collection of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites makes it one of the most captivating places to explore with your family and friends. Now that you know the 12 best things to do in Beijing, you start now by Book the top things to do.